Judas Priest have issued the following statement:

“Hello maniacs! We are chomping at the British Steel bit to return to world touring… celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest as an an even more powerful, relentless four piece heavy metal band – with Glenn coming out on stage with us here and there as before. Big thanks to  [guitarist/producer] Andy [Sneap] for all you’ve done and continuing to be in the production team for our new album… See you all soon headbangers!”

Bassist Ian Hill is the only remaining original member of the band, which formed in 1969. Singer Rob Halford joined the group in 1973 and Tipton signed on in 1974. Founding guitarist K.K. Downing parted ways with the band in 2011, and was replaced by Richie Faulkner.

Sneap will reportedly focus on production work.

Judas Priest are scheduled to return to the road for their 50 Heavy Metal Years, with special guests, Queenrÿche. The tour is set to begin on March 4th in Peoria, Illinois and wind down on April 13th in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

To see Priest’s entire 50 Heavy Metal Years itinerary, please click here.

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  • D.J.H on

    Well Dana, I said I’d be back in the new year and here I am – a little belated Happy New Year to you and all the team and regular contributors.

    I’m not sure that you’ll like this post; but here goes…..

    Judas Priest is my second all time favourite band. However, and I’ve been saying this for a while now (a little heavy hearted I’ll admit) but this needs to stop.

    To have this band without KK was one thing; to have it without Glenn and KK was something else, but now they want to continue on, at this late stage in the game when the main core of the band (Halford, Tipton, Downing & Hill) are in or in Ian’s case about to be in their 70’s, with only one guitarist, after building on the famed twin-guitar attack; no, I’m sorry, this has gone too far. The bands legacy is, I believe and as always feel free to disagree with me, in grave danger of being severely tainted.

    A certain other band has talked about “Not wanting to stay at the party too long so that people ask why they still carry on?” Yet they of course continue to do it because of business. What I am saying here, as a fan (I will never forget the hot summer’s night in 2000 when at just after 1am UK time I was hit by Painkiller for the first time on VH1’s Friday Night Rock Show) is that I don’t want this to happen to Judas Priest. The decline in popularity, ticket sales… I do not and wouldn’t want that for them. They’ve worked too hard over the last 50+ years.

    There comes a time in all walks of life when the end meets us face to face. For the sake of the legacy of the band, I would rather Judas Priest was put to bed than carry on flogging a brand name. Rob Halford is the Metal God; without doubt he could carry on as a solo artist and maybe explore different avenues of the genre; and of course there would be nothing stopping him working with Ian, Scott, Richie on any potential solo projects. But please; not as Judas Priest – as Halford.

    I know that without a doubt there will be people pointing out that “Once all of these bands that we love are gone, there’ll be nothing like their kind again.” That is true; but the truth is that none of the bands we love will ever really go away. Their music is recorded and available at any time to us; whether on physical or digital format. You can still get Beethoven and Bach some three hundred years after it was written; do you really think that Priest, Sabbath, Metallica, Van Halen, KISS and Jimi Hendrix, to name a few; won’t be available in years to come?

    Of course they will.

    I would like to point out that my opinion comes from a good place and I’m not here to just trash for the sake of it.

    • Dana on

      Hi D.J.H,

      So good to “see” you back 🙂 Happy belated New Year to you, as well (virtual kiss).

      As we have discussed before, Priest is my number one, your number two (in the literal, not the figurative sense-LOL!), and I would never begrudge your opinion, or anyone else’s on the band.

      You have made some very valid points and I agree with them. This band has always had two guitar players, so like everyone else, I am confounded as why they have decided to do away with one.

      Of course, like every other Priest fan, I think KK should be, and should have been, invited back, but I speak only as a fan. I don’t have the insight to know what went on behind the scenes, and although I have both The Metal God’s, and Downing’s books, I have yet to get a chance to read either of them.

      I will say this, I do hope for their sake that they mend fences, before it’s too late. Regret is a terrible thing, and I am sure that plagues Michael Anthony, everyday. I don’t want to see any of the members of Priest have that same feeling. So, whether they ever reunite with KK, or not, I just hope they can all make peace, before any of them have any remorse.

  • Medved on

    Just add a backing rhythm guitar track alongside Rob’s vocal track. Problem solved!

  • RandyK on

    They can’t find a fill in guy for the fill in guy??? And they never answer the obvious question, why can’t KK return and have Richie take Glenn’s spot?

  • D.J.H on

    Hello Dana

    I have heard KK say that technically he is still a member of Judas Priest as he holds a share in the band. As you haven’t read KK’s or Rob’s book yet (I have them both and have read them cover to cover) I won’t say too much about the ‘what and why’ of things, which of course are from the individuals perspectives.

    I have had a listen to the KK’S Priest album. When I heard the single releases I liked them; however when I had a listen to the whole album, after a while….. well, let’s just say that I would have probably reined Ripper in a bit with the use of the high notes.

    Ripper’s voice is actually better alongside down tuned guitars (Example: Jugulator was tuned down to C-sharp, Ripper sounded great. His work with the band Beyond Fear, guitars tuned down; sounds good – especially Scream Machine). KK was obviously going for the classic Priest sound with his album, guitars sound as if they are tuned in E standard; and it didn’t, for me, suit Ripper at all.

    Maybe (and hopefully) KK might think about exploring the Jugulator sound on his next outing.

    • Medved on

      That’s my issue with Ripper. I think he’s an outstanding singer, but he relies too much on screaming and singing as high as he possibly can. It’s just too much to digest. Listening to the Three Tremors albums, it’s just overkill how much he over does it. Jugulator was okay, but Demolition was a train wreck. Never listened to any of his work with Iced Earth.

    • Dana on

      Hi D.J.H.,

      Judas Priest cease to exist to me when the Metal God left 🙂 Yes, Ripper can clearly sing, but..it all begins and ends for me, with Mr. Rob Halford.

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